The Moorabool Shire was hit with wild fire over the weekend that blazed through more than 4600 hectares of land, destroying 12 homes and 30 sheds.
Residents from Scotsburn, Elaine, Mount Doran, Clarendon and Durham Lead were forced to flee their homes as Victorian firefighters battled the blaze in extreme weather conditions.
The CFA have confirmed 12 houses in total were destroyed; Scotsburn (six), Clarendon (three), Durham Lead (two) and Elaine (one), with another four damaged to the point of being
A total of 1030 sheep and five horses died at Narmbool –the 2000-hectare property located at Elaine and owned and operated by Sovereign Hill.
A CFA spokesperson said they were unable to confirm what ignited the fire, however it was believed to have started on private land.
The fast-moving blaze began on Finns Road in Scotsburn on Saturday afternoon.
At 10pm that evening, more than 150 fearful residents gathered in the Buninyong Town Hall for a community
Buninyong police officer, Peter Anderson said a good turnout showed how strong the community was.
“We are going to need that strength over the next couple of days,” he said.
A Relief Centre in Ballan was established by the Moorabool Shire Council on Saturday evening, before a second Relief Centre was opened at Buninyong the following morning.
Moorabool Shire Council CEO Rob Croxford said the decision to set up the relief centres came at the request of the Incident Control Centre.
“In hindsight it may have been prudent to have Buninyong up earlier, but to resource two centres late Saturday night would have been impossible. Ballan was out of harm’s way,”
“The City of Ballarat offered assistance and have been a significant contributor from Sunday on. We will put out requests to other neighbouring shires and to the StateGovernment for support in coming days”.
With 523 firefighters, 69 tankers and three bulldozers deployed over two days, the blaze was brought under control by 8pm on Sunday after a welcome cool change arrived, with crews continuing to patrol the area through the evening.